Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

A Bubbling Cauldron; in the Lead-Up to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Shelley Winkel Discovers the Best Place to Go Hunting for Indigenous Experiences Is Right Here in Queensland

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

A Bubbling Cauldron; in the Lead-Up to the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Shelley Winkel Discovers the Best Place to Go Hunting for Indigenous Experiences Is Right Here in Queensland

Article excerpt

I'M standing ankle deep in the briny waters off North Queensland with my spear raised high and my hunter's eye trained on tonight's catch. Just 15 metres away, dinner sits rooted to the beach, paralysed in fear before the line-up of seven urban warriors about to send an arsenal of quivers into its core.

On the count of three our daggers whoosh through the air and land with a consecutive plop, plop, plop.

Linc Walker, our guide and a descendant of the Kuku Yalanji people, is trying hard not to laugh.

Our spears land closer to the hunter rather than the hunted and it's clear that our target Co a washed-up coconut Co is free to live another day.

This is the Kuku Yalanji Cultural Habitat Tour, a chance for city folk to step into the once shoe-less feet of Australia's original inhabitants and go hunting and gathering through nature's supermarket Co the tidal mudflats off Cooyer Beach 10 minutes drive north of Port Douglas.

You have to muck in, at times jiving knee-deep in mud to dislodge cockles, at others trekking through a swampy mangrove, to pluck marine molluscs from muddy tree roots.

As a custodian of the past, Walker is also a link with the present and he eloquently explains the history of his people and the importance of indigenous culture.

C[pounds sterling]We are not here to be changed,C[yen] he says, C[pounds sterling]we are here being aboriginal and this (tour) is a way to merge traditional culture with western society..C[yen]

C[pounds sterling]Being aboriginalC[yen] is a badge that Cairns and the tropical north can wear proudly. This frontier city is also a bubbling cauldron of creativity, and our tour takes us to Canopy Art Space in the CBD where some of the nation's foremost artists are gearing up for the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) from August 19-21.

CIAF artistic director Avril Quayle promises the event will be a hive of energy and colour. …

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